(Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc increased the amount of parental leave it offers to its 20,000 employees in Hong Kong. 

The maternity leave being offered to full-time employees will increase to 20 weeks from 16 weeks, while leave for new fathers, or for the secondary caregiver, was raised to 40 days from 10 days, according to a statement on Thursday. The changes take effect Jan. 1.

“We are increasingly hearing from colleagues that they want to flex their hours to take on a greater responsibility in caring for their families,” said Luanne Lim, chief executive for Hong Kong at HSBC. 

About 52% of the bank’s workforce in the city are women. 

Lenders across the region have been boosting parental leave. Standard Chartered Plc earlier this year started offering at least 20 weeks of paid leave to new parents, joining a wave of companies expanding benefits for dads and moms and adoptive parents. Deutsche Bank AG also boosted leave for permanent staff in the Asia-Pacific region who are primary caregivers to 26 weeks.

HSBC also extended the personal, or caregiving time, to 4 hours from 2 hours per month to enable employees to fulfill caregiving responsibilities, self-care, personal development and learning activities.

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